In case you’re feeling down today, or you watched the news for more than five minutes (that always bums me out), we have just the thing to lift your spirits.
Sometimes the little things a worker at a fast food restaurant does for you, like offering a friendly smile at the counter, can make a world of difference. That’s a lesson Dunkin’ worker Bryan Lara has definitely learned.
Lara was recently filmed dancing up a storm with one of his regulars, Donald Simon, and the sweet interaction they shared is more than just a silly moment.
Simon, who is autistic and nonverbal, got a kick out of sharing a dance with Lara to a Lady Gaga song. Simon’s aide, Angela Jasmine, shared a video of their dance with Simon's mother, Donna Maxo, who thanked the employee for "rolling out the red carpet for Donald."
That's when the video became a viral hit. In just two weeks, it has already racked up more than 132,000 views.
While Lara has earned kudos from viewers for his kindness, he says the heartfelt moment was nothing special.
"When we’re not too busy, I always make a point to talk to my customers," he told Yahoo Lifestyle. "I know most people’s names and their drink orders."
Sometimes the Staff at Dunkin Donuts does a floor show to ensure their Special guests are having fun! Thank you for rolling out the red carpet for Donald... at the Dunkin’ near Trader Joe’s. #Dunkin’ #autism #ellen #statenislandadvance #DunkinDonutsDancingDude #SpectrumNewsNY1 #humankindnessPosted by Donna Maxon on Friday, January 4, 2019
Lara said that Simon asked for his name several times, and was copying his movements. That’s what inspired him to bust out a move to the store’s music - seeing if Simon would follow along.
Simon’s mother, Donna Maxon, says that her son appreciated his dance-off even more than the viral video’s audience did.
"When you’re on the spectrum and nonverbal, the word friend isn’t used that much, and it touches the heart of a special-needs mom."
She also applauded Lara for the sensitive way he was able to connect with her son, which is not intuitive for most people without special training.
"Bryan has shined a light for so many people," she said, "it’s human kindness."
People have been calling for Lara and Simon to go on Ellen, to dance with the famous talk show host, but Lara says making his customers smile is its own reward.
"I am always dancing, and when I saw Donald smile, it was a great feeling," he said.